The Secret

The secret is… Are you ready for this? Do you have pen and paper ready? There is no secret. No secret to life. No fountain of youth. No secret to fitness and health. No secret to money making. No secret group watching you.

But wait… Don’t you believe in an ultra secretive Illuminati that is working very hard to mold us into automated machines to do their bidding? Of course I do! This article is not to say that I don’t believe in the dastardly secret societies… Because I do. It’s more like, I don’t really care about “them.” Who cares if someone is out there trying to draw in all of the power, money, and glory? I have too many of my own problems, issues, and challenges then to worry about a bunch of old (dying just like the rest of us), bald, crotchety, control freak men, in drab robes, chanting under candlelight. WTF?


I’m just kidding… This post isn’t about the Illuminati or some other secret society. Instead, it is about the secret of success. When I say, “the secret,” I mean any old secret. Folks often ask me for the secret to fitness, health, success, money, parenting, and so on and so forth. I honestly love this question, because it gives me a chance to do one of my fun skits… It usually goes down like this:

The lights in the expansive restaurant reflected off a myriad of shiny surfaces and glimmered through hanging wine glasses to create Pink Floydesque colorful prism sparkles on the bar counter.

Mike leaned in to Vaughn slightly, furrowed his brow, and asked, “What’s your secret, man?”

Vaughn sipped his water, squinted his eyes slightly, and queried, “Whadda ya mean?”

Adjusting himself on his stool, Mike leaned in a little further and softly said, “You know… How do you stay so fit and lead such a healthy life?”

Nodding, Vaughn says, “Ahhh… You want the secret to my longevity and healthy lifestyle.” Nodding a little more, Vaughn leans in and lowers his voice, “There is a secret.”

Mike leans further and carefully listens over the music’s deep bass and the chatter of mingling patrons. Turning his head slightly, Mike puts his best ear forward.

Sotto voce, Vaughn says, “The secret…” Drawing in a breath, Vaughn plays with Mike’s emotions. Finally, chuckling, Vaughn continues, “There is no secret, Mike.”

Discouraged and angry at being left out, Mike diverts his eyes and leans back huffing.


This is obviously an exaggeration, but I do love toying with this one. So many of us think there is some super secret to accomplishing things in life. The truth is, if you want to be successful at ANYTHING, you simply need to follow this list:

1. Carefully assess the result you want, and write it down as a desired outcome.

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. Investigate your goal and find out information about how to accomplish it.
3. Track down friends and acquaintances who have already achieved your goal, and ask them for assistance.
4. Complete and write down a plan of action with milestones and goals along the path to this ultimate result.
5. Buckle down and follow your plan.
6. Adjust your plan as sticking points get in your way.
7. Stay focused and determined.
8. Reap the rewards of your hard work, focus, and drive!

It really is this simple. The funny thing is… You already knew this. We all know this. The thing that separates those of us who do from those of us who don’t is writing down our goals and following through with them.

If you want incredible results. Change yourself today!

Do you know a secret that you can share with the rest of us?

Thanks for reading! I wish I could have given you a real secret, but hopefully you gleened something anyway.


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About Vaughn Ripley

Vaughn is a happily married daddy, author, and CIO. He is an HIV+ hemophiliac, and is one of the longest surviving HIV+ people in the universe.
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  1. ..all that and a bag of banana chips!!…. I mean, all that with a dash of “never give up”, “meditate” (the mind/body connection to success is HUGE) and “visualize your successes” even if they haven’t happened yet. You’d be surprised what that whole plan can do!

  2. Eric Wescott says

    V… you are a liar! You once told me it all came down to luck for you. Just like Thomas Jefferson used to say: “I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.”

  3. Can you just send a copy of this particular article to “Q” for me? I usually read them all, but I don’t know if he does. Love you lots.

  4. Greetings! Very useful advice in this particular article!

    It is the little changes that make the largest changes.
    Thanks a lot for sharing!